Home News Local news A Soldier’s Solemn Return to St. Croix

A Soldier’s Solemn Return to St. Croix


Oct. 28, 2005 — Virgin Islands military personnel staged a solemn welcome home on Thursday for Private First Class Jose R. Rosario, who died while on a tour of duty in Iraq.
Rosario's body was received by Brigadier Gen. Eddy L. Charles, his family, friends and a military contingency consisting of a color guard and approximately 50 active duty and Virgin Islands National Guardsmen from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force.
The body was flown back to St. Croix by U.S. Airways to St. Thomas and then by charter service to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.
Rosario, of the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was one of three soldiers killed Oct. 19 when their Humvee was struck by enemy fire during patrol operations in Balad, Iraq.
Rosario, 20, was a 2004 graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex Adult Education. He lived in Estate Campo Rico with his mother, Gregoria Christian and stepfather, Esteban Christian, before deploying to Iraq. He is the fourth soldier with ties to the Virgin Islands to die in the Iraq War.
Maj. Kai Schjang, VING casualty assistance officer, has been assigned to the family as the military liaison. Schjang will assist the family navigate the military process and other funeral arrangements.
Burial, provided by the Department of Defense, will be with full military honors in the Frederiksted cemetery. Rosario will also receive posthumous awards and be promoted to the rank of Specialist.
Rosario's funeral will take place at 9 a.m. Monday, at Joseph's Catholic Church in Frederiksted. There will be no viewing of the body as it is a closed casket ceremony.

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